>"Sorry to be so very tardy!"

>Yeah, sure. Whatever.

Actually, I thought the apology hand-printed on the rejection slip was better than nothing, and I was curious to find out just how tardy this university-based journal was.

Sadly, I don’t know. I do know that my most recent submission to this magazine was in September 2007, but my database shows that I received a rejection from them in mid-December that year. My previous submission had been in March 2007, but I withdrew that story when it was accepted elsewhere. Conceivably, given the sloppiness of this journal, that December ’07 rejection was in reference to the withdrawn submission, since it happens fairly often that editors don’t see the withdrawals. Which would mean that this new rejection is a mere 18 months after submission. (The postage doesn’t help; it looks like someone added postage onto my SASE to bring it up to date.) Or possibly the rejection was in response to the story I withdrew in July of 2006 when another magazine grabbed that one. Or the story I deemed lost in December 2005 because I had not heard anything from the magazine in over a year, despite queries as to the submission’s status. (That one’s been published, too.) The bottom line is that this magazine is sloppy or slow or both, and I see no point in submitting to them again. Their loss. The real mystery is why I haven’t reached that conclusion before now.

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